Source: July 1916 KIA
PRIVATE E.B. BYFORD KILLED IN BATTLE.
Private Evelyn B. Byford who was killed at the battlefront, and to whose life in the Bromley neighborhood. The Mercury briefly referred last week, was born in Brentwood, Essex, England. He lived with his grandmother for a number of years before he came to Canada. He arrived in this country on March 25th, 1913, and for a year was at Mr. Andrew Forrest’s. Then he engaged with Mr. Thos. A. Barr, and was with him when he enlisted last fall. He was well liked by both families, and took an active part in local church and temperance affairs. He sang in the Presbyterian choir and taught a Sunday school class. In all the duties of life he was faithful and gave his life in response to the call of duty to his country.
PTE. E.B. BYFORD INSTANTLY KILLED
News of the death in action of Pte. E. Byford, a member of the 59th Battalion who made many friends during his stay in Brockville last winter, is conveyed in a letter from Lance-Cor. G.I. Leach, 86th Battalion, Shorncliffe, formerly of the 58th. Private Byford came from Renfrew and enlisted in the 59th there last year. While in Brockville he was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. Lance-Corp. Leach’s letter reads:
“It is with regret that I write you this letter, informing you of my friend E. Byford’s death on or about July 4th while in the trenches in Belgium.
“While you probably heard about it before this, but this is the way he met his death, according to Pte. McCullough who sent us the first news. Byford had been in the trenches with a lot more of the 59th for over 30 days and had escaped unharmed. After firing five rounds rapid fire and coming down behind the parapet, he reloaded his rifle then rose up to fire again, but was hit in the head and died instantly. Thank God he died facing the enemy and doing his duty like a soldier, which he was every inch of him. He is the first to go out of the machine gun section of the 59th and we miss him in our spare time for he was always singing and cheering us up.”
Evelyn B. Byford, whose death while fighting for the Empire is above recorded, is well known in the Northcote-Bromley section of the county, where he spent some years with Mr. T.A. Barr but enlisted in the 59th Battalion which was stationed at Brockville during this past winter.
In a letter which Pte. Byford wrote to The Mercury from the Shorncliffe camp on May 24th there were some references which here may be reproduced:
“Midnight March the 24th was the time we left the generous town of Brockville, a town that will ever live in the memory of every soldier belonging to the 59th Battalion. The kindness of the people of that town was more than we ever expected, nor did we fill worthy of such.”
The boat that the 59th went over on was the Olympic, under date of Wednesday, April 5th, Private Byford wrote:
“The 59th Battalion were on deck doing “P.T.” when we felt the ship moving. Not waiting to be dismissed from parade we made for the side of the boat to catch a last glimpse (for some of us perhaps) of the land of the Maple Leaf. I hope that the though that the whole battalion will be spared to see the shores of Canada again.”
Poor Byford’s wish to see the shores of Canada again was not to be realized, but the lad did his duty in the trenches, as he tried to do it in his citizenship to Canada. He took an active interest in the temperance and church organizations and athletic associations of the Bromley District.
What had expected to have a portrait of Private Byford, but it has not reached us from the engraver in time for this week’s issue.